Lamentations: Third Kinah – Stanza 3 Line 3
“The rebellious daughter is still unworthy of compassion.”: God appeared to the prophet Hosea in a vision and ordered him to concretize Israel’s wayward lust for idolatry in a most
dramatic manner: “Take a harlot unto yourself and bear children of adultery, for the land has been adulterous in turning away from God.” (Hosea 1:2) The prophet did so and three children were born to him. God told him t to name each baby- names that describe His displeasure with the nation. The second child, a daughter, was to be called “Lo Ruchama”, unworthy of compassion. When the nation will be exiled, learn its lesson and return to God’s service, her name will be changed to Ruchama, worthy of compassion.
The phrase “rebellious daughter,” is found in Yirmeyahu 31:21: “How long will you waver O rebellious daughter? For God has created something new on earth; a woman courts a man.”
What did the prophet mean when he referred to the Jews this way?
Rashi ibid “Will you hide from Me, that you are ashamed to return to Me because of your way?” Rashi understands the rebellious daughter to mean a child who is lost and is ashamed to return to the parent. This is a child caught up in her own rebellion and is convinced that the relationship cannot be repaired.
The phrase refers to all who are lost only because they are ashamed to return. We often see people who want to return to God but are convinced that they are too distant to repair the relationship.
There are far too many kids who have rebelled and want to return but are too ashamed to do so. There are people who fell away and want to come back but they are convinced that it is impossible to undo all their damage.
We were able to repent and prevent the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. We didn’t believe that Teshuva was possible. We must teach people the infinite possibilities of Teshuva. We must convince everyone that it is possible to literally recreate themselves, no matter how old, no matter how distant from God.
This can only come if we succeed in teaching how all the laws of the Torah, all the Mitzvot, are keys to self-creation. We must teach that Judaism provides the key to develop ourselves to our full potential and that the Mitzvot are powerful enough to work for anyone, no matter how distant.